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This entry was published on 2014-09-22
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General Business (GBS) CHAPTER 20, ARTICLE 33
§ 688. Investigations. 1. Whenever it shall appear to the department
of law, either upon complaint or otherwise, that any person has violated
any provision of this article, the department:

(a) may make such investigations within or outside of this state as it
deems necessary to determine whether any person has violated any
provision of this article or any rule or regulation hereunder, or to aid
in the enforcement of this article or in the prescribing of rules and
forms hereunder, and

(b) may require or permit any person to file a statement in writing,
under oath or otherwise as the attorney general determines, as to all
the facts and circumstances concerning the matter to be investigated.

2. The costs of all out of state travel and lodging expenses relating
to investigations by the department of persons who appear to the
department to have violated any provision of this article shall be borne
by such persons upon a judicial determination that said persons have
committed unlawful and fraudulent acts or practices, as defined in this
article, or so much thereof as is deemed proper by the court.

3. The department is empowered to subpoena witnesses, compel their
attendance, examine them under oath before it or a court of record or a
judge or justice thereof, and require the production of any books or
papers which it deems relevant or material to the inquiry. Such power of
subpoena and examination shall not abate or terminate by reason of any
action or proceeding brought by the department under this article.

4. (a) No person is excused from attending and testifying or from
producing a document or record, in obedience to the subpoena of the
department or in a proceeding instituted by the department, on the
ground that the testimony or evidence, documentary or otherwise,
required of him may tend to incriminate him or subject him to penalty or
forfeiture; but a person may not be prosecuted or subjected to a penalty
of forfeiture for or on account of any transaction, matter, or thing
concerning which he is compelled, after validly claiming his privilege
against self-incrimination, to testify or produce evidence, documentary
or otherwise, except that the person testifying is not exempt from
prosecution and punishment for perjury or contempt committed in
testifying. The department shall compel such testimony or the production
of such evidence only after notifying and consulting with any
appropriate local prosecuting authorities.

(b) No person shall be excused from attending such inquiry pursuant to
the mandate of a subpoena, or from producing a paper or book, or from
being examined or required to answer a question, on the ground of
failure of tender or payment of a witness fee and/or mileage, unless at
the time of such appearance or production, as the case may be, such
witness makes demand for such payment as a condition precedent to the
offering of testimony or production required by the subpoena and unless
such payment is not thereupon made. The provision for payment of witness
fees and/or mileage shall not apply to any officer, director, salesman
or other person in the employ of any person whose conduct or practice is
being investigated.

5. If a person subpoenaed to attend such inquiry fails to obey the
command of a subpoena without reasonable cause, or if a person in
attendance upon such inquiry shall without reasonable cause refuse to be
sworn or to be examined or to answer a question or to produce and permit
reasonable examination of a book or paper when ordered so to do by the
officer conducting such inquiry, or if a person fails to perform any act
required hereunder to be performed, he shall be guilty of a class A
misdemeanor punishable as provided in section six hundred ninety of this

6. It shall be the duty of all public officers, their deputies,
assistants, subordinates, clerks or employees and all other persons to
render and furnish to the department or other designated officer when
requested all information and assistance in their possession or within
their power with respect to all matters being investigated by the
department under this article. Any officer participating in such inquiry
and any person examined as a witness upon such inquiry who shall
disclose to any person other than his attorney or the department the
name of any witness examined or any other information obtained upon such
inquiry except as directed by the department shall be guilty of a class
A misdemeanor punishable as provided in section six hundred ninety of
this article.